Canessa S, G Guillera-Arroita, JJ Lahoz-Montfort, DM Southwell, DP Armstrong, I Chades, DP Armstrong, RC Lacy and SJ Converse (2015) When do we need more data? A primer on calculating the value of information for applied ecologists. METHODS IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION 6(10):1219-1228

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Applied ecologists continually advocate further research, under the assumption that obtaining more information will lead to better decisions. Value of information (VoI) analysis can be used to quantify how additional information may improve management outcomes: despite its potential, this method is still underused in environmental decision-making. We provide a primer on how to calculate the VoI and assess whether reducing uncertainty will change a decision. Our aim is to facilitate the application of VoI by managers who are not familiar with decision-analytic principles and notation, by increasing the technical accessibility of the tool.